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2016 Burns’ Night Dinner Celebration

January 29, 2016 @ 6:30 pm10:00 pm


Christopher Tait performs Holy Willie's Prayer
We are greatly looking forward to our annual celebration of Robert Burns on Friday, January 29, 2016 at the University Club of Toronto. As well as the traditional piping in and Address to the Haggis and toasts  to the Lassies  and Laddies, the evening will feature Professor David Wilson who will deliver The  Immortal Memory and Christopher Tait for our entertainment as “Robert Burns Live”.

Professor Wilson is an old friend of our Society; after heading up the Celtic Studies Program at St.  Michael’s College he recently took up a position as Professor of History at University of Toronto, with a  focus on modern Irish history. David is a most engaging and entertaining speaker and we look forward to hearing his perspective on Robert Burns.

With the annual celebration of Burns Night becoming increasingly popular across Northern Ireland, the Bard himself visited Belfast today help locals enjoy some brilliant moments and celebrate in style this Sunday (25th January). Celebrations in Scotland are expected to be extra special during 2015, the Year of Food and Drink which kicks off with the Big Burns Supper Festival (23 – 31 January). To help Northern Ireland visitors get a real taste of Scotland, VisitScotland has developed a guide on how to throw your own authentic Burns Supper, available from www.visitscotland.com.  Picture by Brian Morrison.Burns and Auld Lang Syne

We are fortunate in being able to engage Christopher Tait to provide our entertainment. Christopher is acknowledged to be Scotland’s leading Robert Burns reenactor; he has performed for audiences worldwide and in 2009, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, he was chosen by Visit Scotland to become the face of the Homecoming Scotland celebrations. In period costume, Christopher bears an uncanny resemblance to the Burns we know from portraits, so be prepared to be carried back in your imagination to the late 1700s as we hear many of the poet’s beloved works and of his life and times.

Click here to read much more about Christopher.

The flyer and application form is now available online and by mail to members by late November.

A word to the wise – last year’s event was a “sell out” with the result that several of our members were unable to be accommodated, so don’t delay in making your application for tickets!

Need to rent your Highland garb? Check out the Burns Supper Special from William Glen & Son!

The Tradition

Our Burns Dinner is held in the elegant University Club of Toronto. After being piped in to a reception where society members, Club members and guests mingle, the meal starts with a Burns grace. A first course is served, then everyone stands for the piping in of in the haggis. The piper leads the haggis-bearing party, to where, with great drama, Burns’ poem To A Haggis is recited.  Everyone joins in on the last line, “Gie her a haggis!” and toasts the haggis with a glass of whisky before tucking into a delicious meal.

There are three traditional speeches at any Burns Dinner:

  •  Immortal Memory: An invited guest gives a speech on Robbie Burns, celebrating Burns in ways light-hearted, literary or through his songs;
  • The Toast To The Lasses: This is usually an amusing speech addressed to the women in the audience and to acknowledge Burns’ love of women in general and many women in particular;
  • Response: This is women’s turn to make fun of men’s foibles, without being insulting!

Speeches over, the evening continues, usually with Burns songs, and ends with everyone standing, joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.


January 29, 2016
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm




The University Club of Toronto

380 University Avenue



M5G 1R6


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